Sunday, April 30, 2017

Song of Blades and Heroes Report

Just a few quick things. I demo'd the game of Song of Blades and Heroes with my friend from out of town. We both had a blast. It was a good experience for both of us, and he got a better idea of miniature wargaming in general.

I am absolutely kicking myself for not taking any pictures of the game, but I can at least give a quick summary of what happened. His Dwarfs entered the ruins and found out it was inhabited by a nasty warband of Nurgle worshippers lead by Lord Gagnus (or a variant of him). Dunhill's expedition had to make quick work of discovering any evidence of what happened in the town, and quickly found a chest full of important items and information. There were casualties on both sides, and they barely made it out alive from the inexorable advance of the followers of the Plague God.

Here are the warband rosters I used in this little adventure.
The strength of the Dwarfs here is some good shooting and heavy armor all around. Their weakness of course is their movement.
The strength of the followers of Nurgle is the common use of Poison and numbers, but weakness is varying degrees of quality.
Again, he had a great time, and was already talking about the next time we would be able to get together in the future, he could make his own warband from his own little D&D minis collection.

Speaking of getting people into the hobby, while I was making all my terrain, my daughter's eyes glowed while I built up the ruins, and since I had some leftover bricks. She decided to take a stab at terrain building.
With the advance of the dreaded Queen Miranda, lone hero Pedro Pony decides to take refuge in the tower!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

City Ruins Terrain

I completed several pieces of terrain in time for our game of Song of Blades and Heroes coming up tomorrow. I got the game mat from Frontline Gaming when they had a big sale going on. It was a decent price at the time, but an odd size of 30"x30". I guess it's used for a Warmachine/Hordes game format, but I knew it could be used for small skirmish games like this. The good thing is all this terrain I made was extremely cheap. Most of the stuff I needed I already had from past terrain projects.
First we take some 1/2" blue foam board (extruded polystyrene) and cut it into 1/2" wide strips. The board actually turned out to be a little thicker than 1/2", so these were not perfectly square, but as long as all your strips are cut 1/2" wide, you should be fine for creating ruins.
Next on the strips, you mark out 1" marks and cut them on those marks. This should create your little bricks. You will need a lot of them.
In making all the bricks, I realized they were cut too square and sharply, making for unrealistic ruins. So I started sanding off the edges of them, but gave up halfway through. It was a lot of work and I figured half of them helps sell the old look well enough.
Now we have all our little bricks done, you essentially have a bucket of Lego that you can use to build your structures.
I had spare pieces of MDF board that I initially bought for my Zone Mortalis project. They were not cut square enough for the tiles, but decent for this. I jigsawed out some shapes that seemed like they would work on the game mat, and sanded off the edges.
Using a hotglue gun because it's quick and easy, you start by laying out the base stones for your ruins. Then you build up from them, keeping in mind how things will look finished. It was hard not to try completing the walls and structures, instead make sure they end up looking dilapidated and ruined.
Here they are built up. At about 4 blocks high, I decided to add wood flooring to create other levels. I didn't do it on all of them, but some to create some dynamic terrain. I used popsicle sticks hotglued between some of the brick layers. Scraping along the grain of the sticks with a serrated knife, and generally breaking them off where they need to end in length helps sell the ruined look of them.
Last step before painting is gluing down sand. I did some on top of the bricks as well.
And lastly you paint and decorate.

For painting I just used cheap craft paints.
  • For the ground I base coated it with a medium gray, washed with black, and drybrushed in a forest green in a blotchy pattern.
  • For the stones and walls I based them with a dark grey and washed with black. Then I sponged a medium gray allover the bricks for texture. Finally I drybrushed a light gray especially around the edges.
  • The wooden floors were based with a chocolate brown, washed with black, then drybrushed with a light brown (almost tan).
  • Next I did some creeping vines using a very similar technique shown here (scroll down to Finishing Touches).
  • Once the vines are dry, I gave everything a coat of Mod Podge. After the Mod Podge dries, it had a slightly satin or glossy sheen, so I did a final coat of a spray on matte varnish.
  • Final step is hotglue on some cheap aquarium plants to create colorful vegetation.
    Thane Dunhill and his crew begin their expedition in the mysterious ruins. Ancestors know what dangers lurk therein.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Forthammer Clan Throng - Old Steamsuit and Runelord

I have a few extra minis for my Dwarfs that have been on my painting queue for quite some time. Well it took a little push to get them bumped to the top. I have a friend coming over this weekend, and he is an RPGer. We rolled together back in my RPG days. He knows I concentrate primarily on miniwargaming nowadays, so in order to help him better understand my hobby, I offered to run a demo game with him. Song of Blades and Heroes is the perfect game to intro people into the basics of miniature war gaming. It's fast, simple, and small scale. This video explains why better than I can.

So I am double timing it right now to get some fantasy terrain going (as I have none in my personal collection, more on that in a later post), and to get 2 warbands worth of minis ready for him. He wanted to try playing Dwarfs. For that I finished painting these 2 characters that I am proud to use in a SoBaH warband:
This is one of the renditions of Dunhill Forthammer. I showed this mini a few times a while and described it a little more here. Of course I have fascinations with the steamsuits, so this is one of the incarnations. I really should do a post about Dunhill's many different steamsuits. He's like Ironman constantly tinkering and adding more suits to his collection.
This is his daughter, Bree Dunsdottir. Again, I touched on her story a little more here. If there wasn't such a strict GW-only policy at the LVO, I would have had her painted and added to my army then. I love the look of this mini. It's my favorite female dwarf sculpt. She shows so much power, and in our SoBaH game, she will be an Enchanter, sort of a buff-mage.

As you can see, I painted them up to match the color scheme of the rest of my Duardin army in case I want to run them there too.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Censers & Tocsins - Rotbringer Sorcerer Finished (The Rotpope)

First of the characters is finished. This is the Rotpope, as denoted by his fancy hat. I wanted to go for a sort of 'mouth of Sauron' look with him, his eyes covered by his tall headgear. I also tried a few painting techniques to make his hat's cloth look moldy and rotting. I think it worked out pretty good.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Censers & Tocsins - Chaos Marauders of Nurgle Finished

Who says in order to be a follower of Nurgle you must be fat and grotesque? Who says you can't be jaundiced and get mad gains? Well pretty much any law of health, but I'm ignoring all that for these guys! The fitter side of Nurgle. They don't get swollen, they just get swole.
Top row, left to right: Marauder, Musician, Champion, Banner Bearer, Icon Bearer
This marks a majority of my Nurgle army finished painting. Now all that's left are the heroes and the catapult.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Censers & Tocsins - Chaos Warriors of Nurgle Finished

Another chunk of my Nurgle force is completed. Again, these are my chaos warriors with marks of nurgle. I used the starter set blood warriors as base, and as usual, a bunch of extra Putrid Blightking bits.
A couple things you may note, the shield carried by the champion (top middle on second picture) is a Liberator shield. Part of that was because I didn't have enough Blightking shields, but also I figured a little narrative opportunity. Normally when a Stormcast Eternal dies, their body and armor gets taken up back to Azyr. Somehow this warrior had scratched in the 3 circled of Nurgle in the Liberator's shield during their little duel, and when he finally vanquished his foe, the shield remained, as Nurgle's power had claimed it. He took this shield as a trophy and it gave him his status as champion of the unit. You will also notice the shield is painted in the same colors as my Forgesworn Eternals. No coincidence there.

The banner's logo was a conscious choice. I am thinking of proceeding with a piracy theme for these guys, maybe in the skies or high seas, not sure yet. So the rusted cutlass behind the logo of Nurgle will help fit that theme. This will also be reflected in the basing sometime in the future.

Next on my painting table are my Marauders.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Censers & Tocsins - Putrid Blightkings Finished

Completed painting my first unit from my Nurgle force. Again, not much has been done conversion wise to these guys. You will notice the unit leader, the blightlord, is actually the Lord of Plagues kit. I had used one of the blightkings models for my Harbinger of Decay conversion.
One thing that was interesting was experimenting with trying different colors of skin here. I started by basing all of them with Rakarth Flesh, then a layer and highlight of Pallid Wych Flesh. Then I washed over them with some different shades watered down a little. Biel-tan Green, Reikland Fleshshade, and Athonian Camoshade. Each one provided some variety in skin tome which I am enjoying. When I go to the more naked guys, like the Marauders, I think the differences in skin tones will be more apparent.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Conversion Plans - Giant Duardin Steam Mech

As I have insinuated before, I have big plans. I got enraptured by the release news for the Kharadron Overlords, and have been eating up any information I can glean on them. Definitely a cool take on dwarfs, that still helps them retain their dwarfiness. The model range is beautiful from what we've seen so far. The latest White Dwarf fortunately has given us a lot of information about them.

So on to my project. As of right now, I have no plans to build a Kharadron Overlords army, yet. But I will be building something for my existing Dispossessed army. Keeping in the theme of the family of eccentric engineers that is the Forthammer Clan, they of course wouldn't settle at just their last creation alone. The next step is to make a grand idol to Grungni. A massive steam mech.
I have been kicking around an idea for a big mech for quite some time now. I figured the Imperial Knight would be a good basis, but I was lacking some good parts to help sell the dwarf feel of it. Enter the Kharadron Overlords, more specifically the Arkanaut Frigate.
This page from the White Dwarf helped sell the idea on it. Assuming the base is indeed a 120mm oval (as some have insisted it is), then the large endrin (those big floating balls) is the right size to match the imperial knight's pauldrons. From that I can glean the rest of the conversions. I have a lot of ideas kicking around in my head for it.

I will try to do some regular posts on its progress and experimentation. Rumor is pre-orders go up on the 15th, though. So it will still be a couple weeks before I get the kit in my hands. However I think it's going to be a lot of fun.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Hobby Tip - Infinity Scenery Packs

My brother and I wanted to get some more sci-fi terrain, so we saw these Infinity Scenery Packs. They are a very good price, and come with some decent amount of terrain. Not enough to cover a 4'x6', but good enough for small skirmishes.

They are pretty easy to assemble, but once we got it done we noticed something. They are made out of printed cardstock, and are very light weight. The issue is they easily get bumped around the table, and even if someone were to open a window in the house, your terrain not weighed down with lots of minis would get moved about.

So we came up with a couple of ideas to weight them down.
The building layers were easy. We got some cheap paint stirring sticks from the hardware store. Cut them down to fit the insides, and hotglued them to all 4 inside walls. It sufficiently weighed them down without getting too heavy. I would recommend hotglue over woodglue, because water based glues may soak into the cardstock and cause rippling and warping. Hotglue seemed to do the trick just fine.

The small crates were a different issue. I wanted them to be able to stand up on end, as well as lay flat. So I came up with the idea of weighing them down with wood cubes. I bought a piece of 1.5"x1.5" lumber. A long wood strip. Then we cut off pieces 1.5" long. This created a nice cube, which fit perfectly into the crates.
Now, now matter which side you lay the crate on, it gets some stability. Especially if you decide to put them up on end, the block rests at the bottom and makes it bottom heavy. No need for gluing.

We like this kit because it looks great, is cheap, and sufficient for quick terrain. We will be experimenting with the other scenery packs and try to get enough for some good tables, and see how we can weigh them down as well.